Identity Statement for Royal Veterinary College of Ireland

  • Reference code: IE UCDA RVCI
  • Title: Records of the Royal Veterinary College of Ireland
  • Dates: 1894–1977
  • Level of description: Fonds
  • Extent: 6 boxes, 17 bound volumes
  • Context
  • Content and Structure
  • Conditions of Access and Use

Institutional History

In 1894 the ‘Promoters of a Veterinary School of Medicine for Ireland’ led by Sir Christopher Nixon (later college president) met to discuss establishing a veterinary college in Dublin. The new college, based in Ballsbridge, was incorporated by Royal Charter and began its work in October 1900. Veterinary surgeons educated at the college were examined and registered by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons [RCVS] in London.

The College was taken over by the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction in 1914 which owned, controlled and staffed it until the second World War. After World War II, the examining and registering functions of the RCVS in Britain were handed over to selected universities. The Irish government followed suit and UCD (since 1946 when it was known as the Faculty of Veterinary Science, becoming Veterinary Medicine in 1950) and TCD (since 1954) became partly associated with the training and qualification of the profession. However, the main part of training continued to be provided by the Veterinary College, still controlled by the Department of Agriculture.

A reorganised Department of Agriculture continued to appoint staff and provide buildings and equipment until 1960. From 1946 and 1954 to 1960, University College Dublin and TCD, respectively, awarded degrees to undergraduates and graduates, but teaching was carried out by Department of Agriculture staff. After 1960 both the school and the faculties operated independently of each other and of the Department.

An unsuccessful attempt to place veterinary education in the proposed Agricultural Institute was made in 1955. The Veterinary Council of Ireland (the body responsible for registering veterinary surgeons) failed to find a solution acceptable to both UCD and TCD. In 1958, a visitation from the Royal College of Veterinary Medicine in 1958 found the Irish system unsatisfactory. By 1959, a proposal which retained a faculty of Veterinary Medicine in both UCD and TCD, established a quota for the intake of students (fifty for UCD, ten for TCD) and left the ownership, maintenance and management of the college with the Minister of Agriculture, was acceptable to all parties. Following the withdrawal of the Department of Agriculture as a direct employing agency in 1960, two separate veterinary schools were run by UCD and TCD at the Ballsbridge site and this continued until 1977 when the two schools were merged and fully incorporated into UCD and the college ceased to be a separate entity.

Archival History

This collection was transferred to UCD Archives in 1998.

Scope and Content

Minute books, copy, draft and original correspondence, damp press copy letter book, exam papers, draft charter and college prospectus concerning the foundation of the RVCI and it’s early administration and transfer to the DATI. Correspondence, administrative material, printed prospectus concerning the college under DATI administration. Includes a minute book of the Advisory Council of the Royal Veterinary College of Ireland incorporating a printed copy of the new college charter. Material concerning the Report of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the merger of UCD & TCD Faculties of Veterinary Medicine plus photographs, plans, faculty accounts, attendance registers and printed material.

  • Access: Available by appointment to holders of a UCD Archives reader's ticket. Produced for consultation in original format. Original material will be retrieved at 11am and 2pm only.
  • Language: English
  • Finding aid: Descriptive list
Twitter Facebook Mastodon. Instagram. Top